The Yoshimura YRS fender eliminator...
The Yoshimura YRS fender eliminator was nearly one-pound lighter than the stock flap and it looks better too. With the plate removed it’ll free up some aero as well.
We’ve traded the high-buck holler for some budget speed mods and decided to see just how fast we can go with $2500.
Normally we’d start by throwing a ton of horsepower into the mix, but this time we took a different route. Instead of injecting serious thrust (that comes later) we opted to attack the finer side of straight-line speed first with chassis and aerodynamic tailoring.
First on the list of chassis improvements was ditching the factory steering damper in favor of a proper Scotts damper. The factory damper is non-adjustable but the Scotts features numerous settings to suit each rider’s style. And, it’s fully serviceable to boot.
The Scotts is a rotary unit and mounts directly over the steering stem. This keeps the damper out of harm’s way in the event of a crash and also allows for a wider range of adjustment compared to traditional stick-style dampers. The Scotts not only has low speed damping, (the kind that can make the bars stiff at all times) but it has a unique high-speed circuit as well. This high-speed circuit allows the bars to remain light (as if there wasn’t a damper in place) until you encounter a force that quickly moves the bars. At that point the high-speed valve comes into play and prevents a wicked tank slapper. It’s features like these that make the Scotts unit worth the price of admission.
Since this project is more about straight-line speed than sharp track handling, we lowered the stance for better aerodynamics. Up front the triples were dropped around the fork tubes roughly two-inches. Out back a Yana Shiki lowering link brought the rear down the same distance to complete the slammed look. The lowering link installed in minutes and is easily reversible should we choose to hit a local trackday.
The lower stature will not only help combat wheelies during high-rpm launches at the strip, but it will also give us a little help in the aerodynamic department as it reduces the frontal area exposed to direct wind resistance. It’s claimed that by lowering the front of a bike closer to the front fender you can decrease the amount of air entering around the radiator–a highly un-aerodynamic portion of a bike. The fins of a radiator can only pass so much air before becoming a restriction. When the air does move through the fins it hits the motor anyway (where the air is then forced around either side) ultimately exiting out the fairing on either side. By decreasing the area between the fender and the fairing, more air is deflected off the fender and around the slippery sides of the bodywork instead of getting trapped in the radiator pocket.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in the mind-blowing debate over motorcycle aerodynamics, but we’re after every last bit of speed and if lowering the bike is worth a few clicks, it’s worth a shot. After all, when is the last time you saw a land-speed bike at stock ride height?
A Scotts steering damper is...
A Scotts steering damper is as good as gold on any proper sportbike and far better than any stock stick hopes to be. A wide range of adjustability and damping rates well beyond the stocker help make it an easy choice for high-speed junkies.
Get low, get low. We dusted...
Get low, get low. We dusted the rear down nearly two-inches with the Yana Shiki lowering links.
The quick and easy way to...
The quick and easy way to lower the front of your bike is to drop the triples over the fork tubes. We went two inches closer to the ground to combat wheelies and improve aerodynamics.
It’s unanimously agreed that more power equals more speed, but lowering the drag coefficient on your motorcycle will also net similar increases in top speed. Simply put, the easier a bike cuts through the wind the less power it needs to achieve a given speed. Although bikes aren’t necessarily aerodynamic when compared to a sports car, with the right tweaks you can gain back some valuable points.
Simple things like ditching the stock mirrors and the stock rear fender can drop weight and cut drag. In our case we’ll only remove the mirrors at the track, but trading the giant factory flap for a Yoshimura YRS fender eliminator that punches a smaller hole in the air is a must.
Equally important to making the bike more aerodynamic is keeping the rider out of the wind as much as possible. After all, if the rider is hanging in the wind all the aero-improvements would be for naught.
To keep the rider out of the rushing air and inside the still pocket we hit up Zero Gravity for a pair of windscreens. Although we’re unsure which one will ultimately end up on the bike, we have two vastly different screens; the Double Bubble and the Corsa.
The Double Bubble features a curve that effectively maintains an aerodynamic profile while creating a bigger pocket for the rider to sit behind. The Corsa on the other hand is one single arch. This type of shield got its start in racing leagues like MotoGP and it punches an even bigger hole in the wind allowing the rider to fully tuck behind the screen.
We’re going to test-fit both screens, so stay tuned for some top-speed testing where we’ll determine which is the most advantageous.
The stock shield is smoked...
The stock shield is smoked but small, and considering how tiny the already petite frontal area is, tucking in behind the small orb just isn’t going to happen.
The Zero Gravity Double Bubble...
The Zero Gravity Double Bubble is a radius within a radius and it helps keep the aerodynamics in check while creating a larger still pocket for the rider to sit behind.
The Corsa screen uses one...
The Corsa screen uses one giant arch to keep the rider out of the windblast. We’ll soon top-speed test both Zero Gravity screens.
On the road
Although the mods were kept in check this month, the difference is already drastic. Windblast is certainly diminished with the new screens and tucking in for a high-speed blast is a lot easier.
Thanks to the lowered stance the bike launches with authority but needs judicious clutch slip to get moving–meager torque figures and tall stock gearing hamper serious launches. Those maladies will be remedied soon with the first installment of motor mods. ssb
Next Month: Round one of engine mods.